Good afternoon everybody,
I hope you’re all doing well and enjoying life. I must be because the closest thing I have to a complaint today is the fact that I started my second day in a row in here this morning with Ratt’s Round and Round stuck in my head thanks to DB graphic designer Gene James. Coincidentally, Gene knows better than anyone that what comes around goes around. I could tell you why, why, why some time, but I probably won’t.
I will however tell you today about another individual I have the privilege of working with as we feature Diamondback BMX Brand manager Mike Hammond.
Thanks to Mike’s mom, we had quite a few examples of magazines that Mike had been pictured in to choose from. Mike’s 15 minutes of fame was more like 45. This shot of Mike as an “unidentified trickstar” ran in a classic BMX zine called the Mega’zine.
Born and raised in Florida, Michael Wayne Schulmeister grew up racing BMX, and like another well-known BMX racer named Mike from Florida (“Hollywood” Mike Miranda); changed his last name part way through life when he took his dad’s around the age of 9 or 10. It was also at the age of 9 that Mike started racing BMX, but it wasn’t until the age of 13 that he started taking it seriously. I too was 9 when I started racing BMX on the opposite corner of this country from where Mike was. While I may have found a way to win the WA state title and the sweet satin jacket that came with that honor by sand-bagging as an 11 year old intermediate, Mike was training and legitimately becoming a talented and accomplished racer and turned pro at 19. He enjoyed success as a pro as he rode for and worked at Profile Racing in St. Petersburg.
During a time when longer seat posts and larger sprockets roamed the earth, there was a very cool BMX racing magazine called Snap. This is the cover of one of their issues that was made cool with a shot of Mike and fellow Floridian Billy Au. Another great shot of Mike and Billy can be seen right here and an interview and shot of Mike with a couple of his hotrods can be seen right here.
Here’s a shot of Mike doing a nac-nac the way Eddie Cerone meant them to be done taken right from the pages of an issue of BMX Plus! from 1995.
This is probably my favorite shot of Mike that his mom came up with. Another full-pager in Snap, but this time wearing white sunglasses and whiter shoes. Man, you think you know a guy and then out comes a shot of him riding in white sunglasses…
Here’s another great shot of Mike and some friends taken from the same issue of Snap. That’s Mike resting his arm on the 3 car of Dale Earnhardt. He looks tan in the shot, but he’s really as white as his shoes in the previous shot. Floridians just get a natural glow about them any time they get that close to a racecar.
In December of 1998, Mike packed up his belongings and moved to his current home in Seattle where he further developed his riding style and love for riding trails, and developed a new love for snowboarding and riding other kinds of boards as well. In addition to his love for riding, Mike also has a passion for photography and capturing the kinds of action he likes to take part in with photos. It was that combination of passions and interests that first landed Mike’s foot in the door here at Diamondback when he was hired to shoot photos for a couple different catalogs. It wasn’t long after that that both of Mike’s feet were entering the door here 5 or so days a week after he accepted a position assisting Product Development in the Model Shop.
Here’s a great shot that Mike took of former Diamondback BMX pro and current MTB sellout Darren Berrecloth. The shot was so good, BMX Plus! used it as a 2 page spread in an issue in 2001. You know we love you Darren…
This is another one of Mike’s shots that was worthy of two pages in a magazine. This one was a shot of Mark Mulville that ran in a Ride in the same year.
It was at that point that I first met Mike, and if I remember right (which I sometimes do), the individual who introduced us jokingly warned me to only talk to Mike if I needed to. We enjoyed the chuckle, but it wasn’t long before I found out that the point being made was no laughing matter. You see, Mike is a guy who some would refer to as being “outspoken” or “very passionate”. Others call his tendencies “abrasive” and still others would just call him a jerk. But those of us who know him best know that he’s a great guy with a huge heart who just does everything he does with passion (including voicing his opinions about those of others and sometimes directly into their faces). Though Mike is a great guy with a huge heart, I won’t wrap up this ramble without a warning of my own. If you’re going to ride the trails, you’d best make sure Mike sees you on the other end of a shovel once in a while or you’ll definitely be seen by everyone else on the receiving end of a verbal assault compliments of Mike. Mike is a guy with many responsibilities, but one of the roles he takes most seriously is that of trail boss. He loves riding trails, but more than that, he loves to ride well-kept trails that are maintained by those who ride them (as opposed to riding trails he has worked very hard to maintain that have been vandalized by the back wheels of others who can’t make it through the sections who opt to flee the scene without fixing the damage they’ve done). You know who you are and Mike does too.
We’ll probably never see Mike teaching seminars on political correctness at the office and desk-side manners, but that’s okay. His ability to have patience with others (like me) has dramatically improved over the years to the point of almost being, dare I say, professional? Mike has consistently directed his passions in productive directions and since that day he first accepted the position he held in the Model Shop, he has proven himself as an extremely valuable member of this team. So much that he has since proven himself as a Product Manager and was recently promoted to Brand Manager (a position that didn’t even exist before Mike proved himself beyond the roles he’d been given).
This is the latest shot of Mike to appear in a BMX glossy. This one was in Ride just a couple issues ago. If he keeps riding like he has been, it won’t be the last.
Today Mike is 33, healthy, happily married, riding nearly every day, and fully embracing the NW lifestyle that originally drew him to this corner of the country opposite from the one he came from. He’s as passionate about riding as the day he started and he still races on occasions (though mostly only at World Championships like those that recently took place in Beijing China). He’s had a lot of people to thank along the way (which he has) , but we have him to thank for making our Diamondback BMX bikes, parts, and accessories work, feel, and look as good as they do. Keep up the great work Mike (please).
Thanks and thanks to the rest of you for stopping by today.